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Kyle Busch takes Phoenix race...Molinari wins at Bay Hill...Snell gets tiny raise from Rays

March 11, 2019

AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Kyle Busch tracked down pole-sitter Ryan Blaney before completing a victory in NASCAR’s Cup Series race near Phoenix. Busch passed Blaney with 16 laps to go before completing a weekend sweep at ISM Raceway in Avondale, one day after taking the Xfinity race. The back-to-back wins gave him 199 in NASCAR’s top three series. Martin Truex Jr. finished second, followed by Blaney, Aric Almirola and Denny Hamlin.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Francesco Molinari made an impressive Sunday push to win the PGA’s Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. The reigning British Open champion rolled in a 45-foot birdie putt on the final hole to cap an 8-under 64 that left him two strokes ahead of Matt Fitzpatrick. Molinari trailed by five strokes heading into the final round before finishing 12 under. Fitzpatrick carded a 71 to end up one shot ahead of Rafa Cabrera Bello, Tommy Fleetwood and Sungjae Im.

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) — The budget-minded Tampa Bay Rays have renewed the contract of pitcher Blake Snell, who’s receiving a raise of only $15,500 after winning the AL Cy Young award last season. The 26-year-old left-hander isn’t eligible for salary arbitration. Snell will earn $573,700 this year after going 21-5 with an AL-leading 1.89 ERA over 31 starts. Snell who led the AL in victories after winning just 11 games combined over the previous two seasons.

UNDATED (AP) — The Chiefs have released veteran linebacker Justin Houston after they were unable to work out a trade, freeing up $14 million in much-needed salary cap space. The 30-year-old Houston signed a $101 million, six-year deal with the Chiefs in 2015 that was at the time a record for a defensive player. And the Los Angeles Chargers have released safety Jahleel Addae, who had started 59 games over the past six seasons.

UNDATED (AP) — NHL Hall of Fame defenseman Harry Howell has died at 86. Howell won the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman in 1967 and was a seven-time All-Star. He remains the Rangers’ all-time leader in games played with 1,160, doing it from 1952-69 before going to the Oakland Seals. His uniform No. 3 was retired by the Rangers.